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Reed Broaders, a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American from Danville, Illinois, has announced her verbal commitment to the University of California, Berkeley women’s swimming and diving class of 2025.
“I am beyond thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of California, Berkeley!! I am extremely thankful for my family, coaches, teammates and friends who have supported me throughout this process! GOOO BEARS🐻💙💛”
Broaders is a rising senior at University High School in Urbana; she swims year-round with Champaign County YMCA Heat Swim Team and specializes in back, free, and fly. She notched a Summer Juniors standard in the 100m back (1:03.09) when she won the event at last summer’s USA Swimming Futures Championships in Des Moines. She also has Winter Juniors cuts in the 50 free and 100 fly. Broaders was a two-time A-finalist (in a state championship that only swims 6 in each final) as a junior at the 2019 IHSA Girls State Swimming and Diving Championship in November. She placed 3rd in the 100 fly (54.82) and 5th in the 100 back (56.42, 55.60 in prelims), a year after having finished 7th and 11th in those respective events.
Broaders told the News-Gazette in a recent interview that she didn’t feel ready to be recruited by a college program based on her high school times and was hoping to make a splash at YMCA Short Course Nationals in March. When her championship meet was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, she got her club coach Chris Freeburg to organize a time trial for herself and teammate Sally Ma the day before the YMCA pool’s COVID closure. News-Gazette reports, “I was like, ‘You know what, I need to put my best foot forward because this is my future I’m talking about,’” Broaders said. “After (the trial) it was like, ‘I made it. This is what I’m going to use to get schools to notice me and be interested in me.’”
- 50 back – 25.55
- 100 back – 55.40
- 100 fly – 54.82
- 50 free – 23.43
- 100 free – 52.76
Broaders will join Alicia Henry, Annika McEnroe, Daniela Cogswell, Elizabeth Cook, Ella Mazurek, Fanni Fabian, Jessica Davis, Lea Polonsky, McKenna Stone, Melanie Julia, Mia Kragh, Shelby Suppinger, Stephanie Akakabota in Berkeley in the fall of 2021. She will also overlap a year with high school and club teammate Ema Rajic, who will be a senior when Broaders suits up for the Golden Bears.
Broaders, who plans to major in bioengineering, biochemistry or neuroscience at Cal, told the News-Gazette: “What I want to do is I want to show other African-American females and African-Americans as a whole that you can do this,” Broaders said. “I really, really do hope what I’ve done with this sport can inspire younger girls who are debating on doing swimming … (to try it) to see if you like it, because you never know what’s going to happen.”
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